Accompanying each team’s Top 10 per Baseball America is a chat for subscribers only. As such, I have to paraphrase and condense, which I’ve done per prospect, per ranking. I’ve then cherry-picked some names that came up in the chat. If it’s in brackets, those are my clarifications or amplifications. Otherwise, you’re looking at the opinions of Aaron Fitt.
1) Anthony Rendon — Could force a move of Ryan Zimmerman to 1B, but the Nats haven’t indicated their long-term plan; it’s still wait-and-see.
2) Lucas Giolito — If he were completely healthy, he’d be listed along with the likes of Gerrit Cole, Dylan Bundy, and Archie Bradley in a discussion of the top pitching prospects.
3) Brian Goodwin — [In response to the Jackie Bradley Jr. comp] Bradley is a safer prospect because of his hit tool, plus he’s more advanced on defense but Goodwin has louder raw tools — more power potential, more speed.
4) Matt Skole — There are some similarities to Chris Marrero, being only a year younger and still in A-ball, but his power output and his walk total are two encouraging signs. Skole strikes out plenty, but his strikeout-walk rate is 1.3-1 thus far as a pro [Marrero’s is 2.1-1], similar to what it was at Georgia Tech. You have to like power hitters who can offset their strikeouts by drawing lots of walks.
5) Nathan Karns — Has a physical frame and the makings of three quality pitches — a real chance to be a big league starter, though he could also thrive in a late-innings relief role [have a feeling that if he struggles in Harrisburg, they might make this switch sooner rather than later].
6) Christian Garcia — A bullpen guy all the way. He’s got starter stuff— three above-average pitches when he’s on his game — but durability is an issue.
7) Eury Perez — An 80 runner, mentioned in conjunction with discussion of Billy Burns as to the org’s fastest, who got the nod, though Fitt said it was not a unanimous choice, with Jeff Kobernus getting votes, too.
8) Sammy Solis — Not discussed.
9) Matt Purke — The expectation is that he’ll be 100% in ST, but you never know with a shoulder issue, especially one that has lingered for a couple of years now. Still some concern that he peaked as a freshman at TCU.
10) Zach Walters — Not discussed.
Michael Taylor — An outstanding defender in center field, but scouts worry about the length in his swing [266 K’s in 278 G].
Chris Marrero — A one-dimensional player who needs to really hit for power to have value but hasn’t slugged .500 since 2007 at Hagerstown.
Destin Hood — For a guy who’s supposed to have raw power, hard to get over just 26 homers in 1600-plus career at-bats; only three last year [Almost precisely what our Hagerstown guy said in 2010].
Sandy Leon — An outstanding defender — a plus receiver with good agility and blocking skills, and a slightly [a misspelling of “significantly”] above-average arm that he really knows how to use. He’s made huge strides offensively, though unlikely to ever be an impact hitter.
Corey Brown — A fourth outfielder [in MLB] with some power, and he’s a good enough athlete with enough arm strength to fill in anywhere in the outfield, but unlikely to hit enough to be a regular.
Ivan Pineyro — [Name a sleeper below High-A] A Dominican righty who just turned 21 this September, whose velocity tops out at 94 and has a changeup that could become a plus pitch.
Brett Mooneyham — Has a great pitcher’s frame, plenty of athleticism and arm strength from the left side, but has a long way to go [in terms of his mechanics].
Aaron Barrett — Stuff is pretty average — fastball (91-92) and a slightly above-average slider that eats up hitters at lower levels — but could eventually become a middle reliever.
Wirkin Estevez — Had TJ surgery this fall [first I’ve heard of it — will edit the Watchlist accordingly].
Tony Renda — Similar to Lombardozzi, but not as defensively adept or a switch-hitter [thus endeth the comps to Dustin Pedroia].
Jason Martinson — A player with power potential, athleticism and a shortstop’s skills, but already 24 years old and a long way to go as a hitter.